Feb. 23, 2016

 Dr. Mussaad M. Al-Razouki


Dr. Mussaad M. Al-Razouki

Chief Business Development Officer, Kuwait Life Sciences Company (KLSC)


Dr. Mussaad M. Al-Razouki is the current Chief Business Development Officer of Kuwait Life Sciences Company (KLSC), where he is responsible for identifying new business opportunities for all KLSC subsidiary companies as well as sourcing investments opportunities for KLSC corporate. A graduate of Columbia Business School, he is the first ever Arab national to receive an MBA with a focus on Healthcare Management and Finance. An Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon by training, he has completed clinical rotations at the world’s leading hospitals, including New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia University Medical Center, Harlem Hospital, Cleveland University Hospital of Case Western Reserve University, and Mass General Hospital of Harvard University. In 2007, he joined one of the world’s largest and oldest strategic consulting firms, Booz Allen Hamilton, which at the time was operating in over 100 countries across six continents with $4 billion in revenue. He was recruited from New York to the Dubai office, where he built the Middle East Healthcare Practice by leading a wide variety of projects across all five dimensions of healthcare.

What are the main focus areas of the KLSC investment strategy?

KLSC was started back in 2010 as the Life Sciences Operational arm of the National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC), which was formed in 2002 and is fully owned by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA). With NTEC's capital of roughly $350 million, it created three operational companies, each with $50 million in capital and each catered toward a specific sector of technology. KLSC is focused on the life sciences sector, which includes healthcare as well as pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. As a company owned by the government, it is important for us to be a catalyst for the life sciences industry not only for Kuwait but for also the region. Our strategy is based on a combination of understanding the local context and bringing in international best practices. Therefore, we like to partner with the private sector when we can and help private-sector companies grow. Healthcare and the life sciences industry is a large part of the economy worldwide. It is important for us to decide where within the sector we would like to invest. We developed a strategy back in 2010 to focus on five key areas. First is knowledge transfer. Second is improving clinical research. Third is developing intellectual property here in the region. Fourth is supplying the pharmaceutical industry. And fifth is bringing in new medical technologies. In each of these five strategic clusters, we have developed platforms, whether by investing in companies or by building a company from scratch.

How do the KLSC's investments support knowledge transfer and development of the local and regional healthcare sector?

We started by establishing and investing in NewBridge Pharmaceuticals, which deals with intellectual property and distribution in the pharmaceutical space and is currently based in Dubai. NewBridge licenses international pharmaceutical companies and then helps them distribute their products in the region. The second company we have invested in since 2011 is Clinart MENA, which is a clinical research organization (CRO) that provides a one-stop shop service for running clinical trials for governments and pharmaceutical companies in the region. There is a global trend whereby multinationals pharmaceutical companies are developing targeted therapies on regional genomes, for example for the Middle East, and to achieve this level of specificity, these companies need to do trials on people from this region. Innomedics is the third company we have incubated and is focused on bringing in the latest medical technology, and has differentiated itself in the market also by importing and distributing products in consumer health, i.e. products that actually impact the consumer directly.
We have also incubated a fourth company called the Life Sciences Academy (LSA), the first training academy in the entire Middle East focused on the life sciences industry. Our fifth platform investment is a company called Ecore, which commercializes the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that go into the drug manufacturing process. Our vision for Ecore is to expand its services to be a combiner and manufacturer of APIs.

What role can the private sector play in ensuring the sustainable development of Kuwait's healthcare sector?

At KLSC we are always looking for ways in which to stimulate the private sector to invest and co-invest in the healthcare industry, particularly in niche healthcare plays and platforms. I encourage private-sector investors in healthcare to invest earlier within the healthcare industry life cycle and to also maintain a broader and longer investment horizon to support increased innovation and improved quality in the healthcare sector.